If you’re wanting to start eating healthier but are unsure what to buy when you go to the store here is a few of my favorite must have items. I always have these things in my kitchen so I can make easy meals, snack on healthy food and stay on track with my clean eating goals.
Spinach is probably one of my top must have items. I go through a container like this once a week by myself. I eat it in salads and sauté it in dinner recipes. Spinach has a low calorie content and high nutrient content which means this super food packs a punch. Each serving of spinach increases your vitamin and mineral intake while decreasing your risk for preventable health conditions including heart disease and cancer.
Hummus is one of my go to snacks. I eat it with veggies or whole grain crackers and it fills me up and tastes delicious. Hummus is rich in protein so it will help keep you full longer which will aid in weight loss and management. You can also use it as a spread on sandwiches for a healthier alternative to mayonnaise. Chickpeas (the main ingredient in hummus) has been linked to lower cancer risk as well. It comes in many different flavors too.
3. Greek Yogurt
I absolutely love Greek yogurt. I started eating it for my night time snack a few months ago. It has become my tasty treat every night after dinner. Greek yogurt has twice the protein of regular yogurt. It is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, zinc and B6 and B12 vitamins. It is also full of probiotics that aid in digestion. I usually have my Greek yogurt with fruit or granola.
4. Greek Yogurt Dip
This Greek yogurt dip is something I eat for a snack with veggies or whole grain crackers. It adds variety to my snacks instead of eating hummus all the time. It’s low in calories, tastes delicious and could even be used as a dressing on salads. This dip comes in several different flavors but my favorite is Jalapeño and Salsa.
I absolutely love GrapeNuts. I use them in my Greek yogurt to give it a little crunch. I also add a small amount to my salads to add a different texture, in place of a crouton. Of course I like to eat them in the traditional way with milk too. GrapeNuts is made from whole grain wheat and barley and has a nutty flavor.
6. Healthy on the go snack
I like to make sure I have several options for an on the go snack. Something that I can keep in my purse so if I get hungry I can grab it. I have several different types of healthy bars that I enjoy. I love Kind bars because they’re delicious and don’t have that traditional protein bar flavor. I also love LaraBars for the same reason. Experiment with which type of on the go healthy bar you prefer and make sure you always have one with you if you get hungry. It’s better to have a smart choice on hand then make a bad eating choice out of desperation.
7. Skinnygirl Water Enhancer
I’m not a fan of using a water enhancer with every cup of water I drink. This is also the only brand of water enhance I recommend. It’s made with stevia, which is a natural sweetener, while most other water enhancers are made with artificial sweeteners. I try to drink 80-100oz of water a day but towards the end of the day I can get tired of plain water. For my last 20oz of water I treat myself by adding a few drops to my glass and it always tastes delicious.
8. Frozen Turkey Burgers
I use these frozen turkey burgers several times a week. They’re very easy to prepare and you don’t need to thaw them out to cook them. I just throw them in a skillet and cook on each side for 7 minutes. I use these in several different types of meals. I cut up the burger and add it to salads or sautéed veggies. I eat them wrapped in lettuce for a bunless burger. Sometimes I just eat them plain with a little bit of mustard. They are an easy way for me to get in protein instead of just eating grilled chicken all the time. I prefer this brand that I purchased at Costco but experiment with what your store offers. Just make sure you read the ingredients and check that there isn’t any added stuff to them.
Quinoa is my favorite whole grain (although it’s not technically a grain it’s categorized as one). It is packed full of protein, fiber and many vitamins and nutrients. I use quinoa instead of rice or pasta in many recipes. I add it to salads too. It’s delicious used in healthy casseroles or just eaten as a side dish seasoned with garlic and spices. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, run to the store and get it! I promise you won’t regret it.
I couldn’t make a list of my favorite healthy foods without including Shakeology. Shakeology is a nutrient dense meal replacement that I drink every day in place of my breakfast. If you’d like to read more information about why I love Shakeology, go here: https://runningthroughchaos.com/2014/08/22/so-what-is-shakeology/
I love to have a variety of vinegars on hand to add to salads and sautéed veggies. It’s a way to season food without adding any calories.
12. Frozen Veggies
I usually prefer to eat my vegetables fresh but I always have frozen veggies on hand. I prefer this blend that I get at Costco. It has two types of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. I can throw together a quick meal in a pinch with these vegetables. I just sauté them on the stove with a little seasoning, add a little water and cover them until they’re cooked. I can them pair them with a protein and whole grain for a quick meal.
This is just a small glimpse into my must haves for healthy eating. What are you favorite must haves in your pantry?